From Pain to Power: Transforming Your Relationship with Adoption

Adoption is hard. It’s so very hard. And, it’s beautiful. Adoption is heartbreakingly beautiful.

I understand the complexities of adoption.

I’ve lived them.

I live them.

Adoption never leaves you. For the adoptee, it’s a journey that spans a lifetime. Being adopted is an experience we didn’t ask for, or even cause. There are real and raw moments when it seems that the pain and confusion of adoption cannot be overcome. Asking why, often times, seems pointless when answers are hard to find. Adoption can seem unfair. Unjust. Adoption can hurt. You may wonder if you’ll ever move beyond the disempowering feelings.

I want you to know that you can. You can move beyond the hurt. You can transform your relationship with adoption from pain to power, from pieces to promise.

As an adoptee, I’m familiar with the anger that can intensify within. I’ve ached from the weight of unresolved emotions left bottled up inside. I have kept close company with fear. Afraid of rejection. Afraid of connection.

I’ve lived parts of my life trying to inject myself into the past, only to discover that this didn’t really serve me. Trying to change what had already occurred left me feeling defeated and alone. I learned, over the years, that I couldn’t alter my early story. I didn’t hold that kind of power. I couldn’t go back and be the girl I was before adoption entered my life.

Evolving into the woman I dreamed of becoming would require that I reframe my relationship to the past and to my own adoption. This reframing would be the only way forward to a meaningful and empowering transformation.

I had to identify what was preventing me from progressing in my life and in my relationships. What was keeping me from feeling joy, experiencing love and connection, and a sense of purpose and calling?

I discovered that living in the past of adoption and staying stuck in that place would never aide me in sharing the wealth of wisdom and compassion that I possess as an adoptee. I had to take ownership of these gifts. I couldn’t ignore them anymore. In other words, I needed to participate in my own rescue. I had to take responsibility for my life. No longer blaming other people or past situations for my pain.

I needed to awaken to a different way of being.

I was ready to wake up.

Ready to let go of the stories that kept me stuck in a place of struggle and of suffering.

Ready to forgive the birth parents who left me.

Ready to forgive the adoptive parents who stepped in, yet couldn’t hear the silent cries of a grief-stricken girl.

Ready to forgive me.

Ready to see myself as worthy of love.

Ready to see myself as a woman with something to give.

A woman with so much to share.

I was ready to understand the past, but I was no longer willing to live there. It’s like the quote says, Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.  

I’m in Denver watching the snow fall as I write these words. I’ve been spending focused time here, revisiting my work and my commitment to helping adoptees move forward, to heal, and to excel.

I’ve also been revisiting my own journey of adoption, and exploring my passion to serve as a mentor to other adoptees who may—right now—be feeling lost, alone, and confused. I’m passionate to help because I understand just how complex living as an adoptee can be.

I also know that adoptees are some of the most incredible people on the face of this earth. It’s my goal to remind them!

What if, dear adoptee, you began to reframe the meaning of adoption? What if you began to see how adoption, even with its challenges, has been a blessing in your life? What if the challenges have made you more resilient, more compassionate, and more resourceful?

Look around you. Look within you. How has adoption made you better, stronger, wiser?

If you transformed your relationship with adoption—from pain to power, from pieces to promise—how might that impact your life today? What could be renewed in the doing?

Look back to understand. Then, take those lessons and move forward. Step into a life of gratitude and abundance. Because, you see, everything is a gift. As hard as it’s been, dear adoptee, look at you. You’re here!

You have so much to teach and to share. Please don’t let the hard places of adoption stop you from becoming everything you’ve been created to be. Set your gaze on the gifts. Watch your life transform.






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2 thoughts on “From Pain to Power: Transforming Your Relationship with Adoption

    1. Hello. Thank you for your question. I’d truly have to know more of your situation before I could comment in depth. This piece was written with the heart of the adoptee in mind. Primarily, the adult adoptee who may be carrying with them unresolved hurt. I would always say to parents, that at the root of “bad behavior” is a wounded heart and unresolved pain. As much as you are hurting, and I honor you for sharing this truth, please know that your child is likely hurting, too. I’d look for support. A safe place to share. I coach adoptees. Reach out to me or to someone who will listen.

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